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Noontec Zoro II HD Review

Noontec Zoro II HD 4

First, I’d like to thank the folks at Noontec for both sending me a sample for review.

Design and Build Quality

The Zoro II HD are clad mostly in plastic with metal accents on the ear cups and around the headband sliders. They collapse and fold using locking hinges, making it easily portable.

Overall, their lightweight and portable design is solid and seems durable and the inclusion of a detachable flat cable (with microphone and remote) makes them a good choice for listeners on the go. I imagine the glossy finish would be vulnerable to scratches and scuffs but the actual design seems solid enough to stand up to daily usage, and the cable is easily replaced, should it wear out.

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Comfort

This has always been a sticking point for me with on ear headphones. I simply can’t wear many on ear sets for extended periods because of the pressure they exert on my ears and the Zoro II HD is no exception. The pads are soft and fairly comfortable and the clamping force is fairly mild but after 20 minutes or so, I end up having to take them off because my ears get sore.

That being said, this is perhaps the single most subjective part of any review I write and I’m fully aware of that. Your mileage may vary and the Zoro II HD may end up being quite comfortable over longer periods but they weren’t for me.

Isolation

Very good. The closed earcups don’t leak much sound and do a good job of cutting down on ambient noise.

Noontec Zoro II HD 3

Sound Quality

What jumps out at me most when listening to the Zoro II HD is…nothing, actually, and I don’t mean that in a negative sense. The Zoro II HD is one of the more competently balanced sets I’ve heard, offering solid detail at both ends and featuring a well-balanced and competently rendered midrange.

The low end is a bit soft on impact and punch but possesses impressive detail and texture. Despite its soft impact, it still manages to be involving and energetic enough to engage with any song that demands detailed bass. For a supra aural set, I was impressed with the control and extension of the Zoro II HD. Instead of delivering a typical consumer headphone tuning, emphasizing the bass and treble to be more appealing to lovers of pop, hip-hop and electronic music, it delivers punchy but controlled bass. It doesn’t pump up the bass relative to other frequencies but it does show up with authority when called for.

The midrange is presented in a neutral manner, positioned right where it needs to be and with a pleasant hint of richness. I would say this is the focal point of the sound signature and features more prominently than the bass or treble. High end presentation is relaxed and pretty well extended into the higher registers. It’s a little laid back but the detail is there, even if you have to listen a bit closely to appreciate it.

The Zoro II HD offers a solid presentation that sounds quite coherent and well positioned, especially given its small size. The sound is clear and spacious, which is especially impressive given this is a supra-aural set.

Noontec Zoro II HD 2

Conclusion

What we have here is a highly impressive portable headphone that delivers excellent sound quality for its retail price of $100 or so from various online retailers including Amazon and eBay.

The Zoro II HD is quite stylish and comes in a variety of colors including black, navy blue metallic (the color of my review unit), violet and white. Other than my subjective comfort issues, I really can’t find much to fault with the Zoro II HD. So, if you’re in the market, Noontec’s Zoro II HD should definitely be a consideration, especially if you’re specifically in the market for a portable set that looks as good as it sounds.

About Justin McBride

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